Signal, an encrypted messaging app, has seen “unprecedented” and “vertical” growth in recent days, according to Brian Acton, the billionaire executive chairman of the Signal Foundation.
“It’s a great opportunity for Signal to shine and to give people a choice and alternative,” Acton stated. “It was a slow burn for three years and then a huge explosion. Now the rocket is going.”
Acton spoke with several news media outlets in recent days regarding Signal’s growing user base.
“We’ve seen unprecedented growth this past week,” Acton said in an email to Reuters. “It’s safe to say that because of this record growth, we’re even more interested in finding talented people.”
Signal was downloaded by 17.8 million users over the past seven days, a 62-fold rise from the prior week, according to data from Sensor Tower. WhatsApp was downloaded by 10.6 million users during the same period, a 17% decline.
“Millions of people value privacy enough to sustain it, and we’re trying to demonstrate that there is an alternative to the ad-based business models that exploit user privacy,” Acton said, adding donations were “pouring in”.
Further, The Associated Press reported on Thursday, “Encrypted messaging apps Signal and Telegram are seeing huge upticks in downloads from Apple and Google’s app stores. Facebook-owned WhatsApp, by contrast, is seeing its growth decline following a fiasco that forced the company to clarify a privacy update it had sent to users.”
TechCrunch reported, “According to mobile insight firm App Annie, data of which an industry executive shared with TechCrunch, Signal had about 20 million monthly active users globally at the end of December 2020. According to Sensor Tower, the app was downloaded more than 7.5 million times between January 6 and January 10.”
Acton considered expanding Signal’s revenue through a donation-driven model via its user base.
“If Signal gets to a billion users, that’s a billion donors. All we have to do is get you so excited about Signal that you want to give us a dollar or 50 rupees,” he said. “The idea is that we want to earn that donation. The only way to earn that donation is building an innovative and delightful product. That’s a better relationship in my opinion.”
We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from everyone who is contributing to Signal's ongoing operation and development. We're a 501c3 nonprofit and we couldn't do this without you.
If you are on the fence about donating, you can give in here:https://t.co/iLLStll3Mi
— Signal (@signalapp) January 14, 2021
Aruna Harder, Signal’s COO, told ThePrint that the messaging app is “trending as no. 1 on Apple (in 70 countries) and Android (in 35 countries).”
Don’t want your personal data shared with Facebook? Maybe Signal is for you.